“Yeah, of course. ‘What did you learn from the experience? How would you do things differently next time?’ There’s no ‘next time.’ This is LIFE. It doesn’t happen twice.”
“You seem down, Lamont.”
“No, not at all, but…”
“Surely you’ve failed at something.”
“A lot of things. So? Berthold Brecht said it right, ‘Try. Fail. Try again. Fail better.’ In a way everything we do is rehearsal for the next thing…and then we die.”
“Rather bleak view.”
“Accurate, though. 🙂 ”
“Are you going to write to this prompt or not?”
“I don’t like this kind of prompt although it’s definitely well written and will lead to some interesting posts. I just don’t like navel-gazing. I think this is. In any case, one thing in my life I never got right is luv. Marriage and marriage-like-things never met my expectations. A failed painting or story is just a lesson, practice. Failed luv sucks out a person’s soul and steals time one can never get back.”
“You had expectations from luv?”
“Well, yeah. No one enters into those things without expecting to be happier, to have a friend with whom to share the dark and light moments of life, a travel companion even (dare I say?) a soul mate. I see those marriages, too. They really do happen and yeah; I know people ‘work’ at them, yadda yadda. I worked at mine, too, but they were uniformly abysmal.”
“I do not think I was designed for a close relationship — I mean a day-to-day relationship — with another person.”
“Maybe with the right person it would have gone differently?”
“Yeah, that’s possibly true. And I don’t dispute I never found the ‘right’ person.”
“What if you had?”
“But I didn’t. So there might be a ‘glitch’ in my ability to choose, or in the people who ‘chose’ me. Anyway, it’s something I hate thinking about. Most other ‘failures’ are redeemable, but not that one. It just didn’t happen.”
“You’re not dead yet. It could.”
“Really, Dude? Can you see that? I can’t see that. If I learned anything from these truly nightmarish experiences it’s to avoid the whole thing.”
“Not going there, Dude. You and WP can prod all you want, but THAT, or those, bits of personal history really are personal. What did Mark Twain write in Eve’s Diary? That book is a pretty good description of male/female relationships as I’ve known them. And, as Eve said, ‘The burnt experiment shuns the fire’. Eve sees herself as an experiment, God’s experiment. I always loved that. Here’s an excerpt…”

I had created something that didn’t exist before; I had added a new thing to the world’s uncountable properties; I realized this, and was proud of my achievement, and was going to run and find him and tell him about it, thinking to raise myself in his esteem—but I reflected, and did not do it. No—he would not care for it. He would ask what it was good for, and what could I answer? for if it was not GOOD for something, but only beautiful, merely beautiful—

So I sighed, and did not go. For it wasn’t good for anything; it could not build a shack, it could not improve melons, it could not hurry a fruit crop; it was useless, it was a foolishness and a vanity; he would despise it and say cutting words. But to me it was not despicable; I said, “Oh, you fire, I love you, you dainty pink creature, for you are BEAUTIFUL—and that is enough!” and was going to gather it to my breast. But refrained. Then I made another maxim out of my head, though it was so nearly like the first one that I was afraid it was only a plagiarism: “THE BURNT EXPERIMENT SHUNS THE FIRE.”

( )

3 thoughts on “Luv…

  1. The mystery project that failed? I don’t think of it as naval gazing, but as anecdote telling. The little funny stories of life, the side trips, the experiments. They are some of my fondest memories, probably because they ARE funny. Or at least they make ME laugh 🙂

    • I guess in my case those stories (of mine) don’t interest me — and the only one that does, I’ve told before many times — it was submitting Martin of Gfenn prematurely (and what I learned from that).

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